runs out of water!
Water line breaks prompt emergency conservation measures
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMPThursday morning, Kemp mayor Matt Ganssle learned his city was out of water
another major water line break drained what little water was left in the tank after
a series of breaks this week.
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Walmart employee Cody Daniels loads a plastic-wrapped pallet of water bottles into a Gun
Barrel City code enforcement truck Thursday. Gun Barrel City donated $500 in bottled water
to the city of Kemp, which had a major water supply crisis. Another 20 cases of water were
loaded up for the Kemp Volunteer Fire Department. The GBC, Mabank and Kaufman fire
departments were on standby Thursday to back up the Kemp VFD in case of a major fire, GBC
fire chief Joey Lindaman said.
Messages on radio and television, as well as in The Monitor Thursday, alerted some 860
Kemp water customers that extreme conservation measures needed to be taken.
After learning Kemp freshwater supplies had dipped dangerously low, Ganssle called an
emergency city council meeting Tuesday.
Due to a series of major water lines breaks one Sunday night before the first day
of school the water plant has been unable to restore reserves.
Were not saying that people should fill every container in the house with
water, plant manager Chris Burns said Tuesday. We just need folks to decrease
their use of water.
He suggested such measures as stop watering the grass and washing cars, hand wash dishes,
not letting the water run out of the faucets, dont wash clothes, flush less.
Both elevated water tanks held less than 18 inches of water, Burns told council members
If we have another major leak, we wont have any water left, Burns said.
Thursday, water pressure was down to a trickle and a boil water notice was issued.
Kemp schools superintendent Dr. Peter Running took matters into his own hands, and
procured drinking water from neighboring stores and arranged for water for sanitation
Brookshires donated cases of bottled water to the school Thursday morning.
The kids are better off in school than at home with no water, he said.
The City of Gun Barrel purchased $500 worth of bottled water from Walmart and delivered it
to the Kemp fire station. Residents who need fresh water can go to the fire station and
Sonic is also providing bottled water for those in need.
Fire chief Brian Beavers said the station will be manned around the clock.
No official word has been given on how long the crisis may last some at city hall
speculate 72 hours.
West and East Cedar Creek utility districts told The Monitor Thursday they had not been
called upon for assistance.
Ganssle commended Burns and his crew Tuesday for their diligent attention and hard work to
address the breaks.
Unless people slow up on their use of water, it will be near impossible to refill
the water towers, he said. Each tower holds 100,000 gallons, he said. Kemp water
customers typically use 460,000 gallons of water a day.
The plants two clear wells require a certain quantity of water for backwashing,
Every time the plant gets a little ahead, a backwashing and drawing on reserves returns
the level back to low, he said.
Burns estimated it would take 25 hours with no water usage to refill the plants two
clear water wells and another five to 10 hours to refill the elevated storage tanks.
Weve already talked with the school, and theyve stopped watering the
athletic fields at night, Burns said. But thats not enough.
Everyone needs to back down their water usage until we can get this thing under
control, he said.
Councilman Leodis Buckley asked about how the city would handle a fire.
At this point, we are not able to provide fire protection, Burns said.
How long do you think it will take to refill the water tanks? Ganssle asked.
Four days to a week, Burns said.
Councilman Todd Weber said he understood how the dry weather and shifting of the soil
could cause so many breaks in the line.
Brookshire water plant renovation
enters final phase
East Cedar Creek readies to supply 700 new water customers
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITYEast Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District directors dubbed KSA
Engineers to begin the final stage of a the Brookshire water plant renovation Aug. 18.
The firm will oversee refurbishing media in filters one and two, at an estimated cost of
$40,000. Once this is completed in the next three months, the plant will have a total of
four filters up and running, general manager Bill Goheen said.
This opens the doors to the final phase of refurbishing the plant, he added.
The final phase includes overhauling the last clarifer, which is now offline. Once
completed the end of 2011, the plant will have the capacity to process four million
gallons of water a day (mg/d). Currently, the plant is permitted to operate 3 mg/d, Goheen
In the first six months of 2012, the utility plans to install a new water pump, which will
double the rate of water from 700 gallons per minute (g/m) to 1,400 g/m.
With the pace of winning a favorable ruling on the Districts sales contract to
purchase some700 water meter customers from Mabank, the district will have ample supply
for the new customers and be able to complete the transfer efficiently, he said.
We are still waiting for TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) to review
it, and then Tarrant Regional (water district) wants to look at their review, Goheen
added. It is going forward. It is not going to stop.
In other business, directors:
heard the finance committee will be adjusting the pay schedule on the Trinidad raw
water contract. Neither side will get what they hoped for, but after the initial few
years, it will balance out. The contract is still a good deal for the district,
The adjustment is needed to comply with the contract the district already has for the
purchase of raw water from Tarrant Regional. Purchasing less than the running five-year
average will incur a penalty, he explained.
agreed to leave the operations manager post unfilled, as long as Goheen was general
Goheen explained he could continue to oversee the good teams working for the district.
heard no serious offers have been received on the house for sale and to be moved
from District property.
approved tank white as the color for the Brookshire Tower painting project.
Contractors will begin work almost immediately and plan to roll on paint to prevent
overspray on vehicles passing below, Goheen said.
The tower is located in the 400 block of Legendary Lane, he added.
approved the revised district investment policy, with only one minor change.
agreed to refrain from transferring funds into the operation reserve account for
approved the purchase of a computer for the general manager at a cost of $1,700.
approved a new tank for the vacuum rig at the budgeted cost of $14,000.
approved changing the regular board meeting date to Sept. 22.
heard the committee reports as presented.
The district is taking in more revenue. It is selling more water (result of summer
heat conditions), finance committee chair Carol Meyer said.
Neighbors complain about foul smell from
Freezer breakdown, record temperatures and staff shortage frustrates
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
SEVEN POINTS/TOOLResidents and a business close to the Cedar Creek Lake Humane
Society complained of a sickening, foul smell emanating from the animal shelter this week.
The facility experienced a breakdown of its commercial walk-in freezer, where the bodies
of euthanized animals are kept until they are disposed of.
Shelter board president Tamara Rhodes told The Monitor that facility staff reported the
outage Aug. 19.
The following afternoon, a mechanic deduced that a coolant leak had occurred. He recharged
the system with Freon, hoping that the contents would refreeze until he could return with
a more permanent fix early the next week.
With the high temperatures, the plan was to clean out the contents Saturday, however, a
family emergency left the shelter staff shorthanded, she said, so the contents remained.
The recharge only cooled the appliance. It wasnt able to accomplish a refreeze, she
Meanwhile, temperatures registered triple digits through the weekend.
When staff opened the freezer on Monday, the scene and smell was worse than your
worst nightmares, she said.
It was so bad that Westside Hardware (located 300 yards away on State Highway 274)
called to ask if we were having some trouble, she said.
They suggested picking up some lime, which they did, she added.
Monday, temperatures at D/FW airport set a record high of 107 degrees and staff
painstakingly shifted the decomposing contents onto a truck for transport to the dump in
We had to buy respirators for the staff, she said.
The unit was washed down with chlorine, and a few days later, a second lime treatment
Staff was able to place 30 animals with an animal rescue organizations and no euthanasia
was conducted. The shelter was also closed to the public, only accepting animals from
animal control officers, she said.
One such animal was a Husky breed, which came in with severe heatstroke.
Everything conspired against us this week the weather, the staff shortage,
the growing need, Rhodes lamented.
The mechanic who sold the used walk-in to the shelter guessed a small coolant leak
occurred following the installation of a new compressor two weeks ago, and had gone
He is confident he will have it repaired before the week is out, she said.
Preventing a similar breakdown in the future is like the lyrics to the song
Theres A Hole In The Bucket, Dear Liza, Dear Liza.
The best solution is to build a new facility, she said the very thing the board is
trying to accomplish with its Raising the Woof campaign.
A Saturday poker tournament at the Kiings Creek Country Club is one of the many events
being mounted to raise funds.
Of course, donations are always welcome at the website, hsccl.org, she said.